Idle hands…

 …are the devil’s workshop.

I’ve been pottering around in the garage looking for something to do. The water on the Jones River module is still hazy so it’s not ready for another coat of PVA yet. The filler on the new branch terminus layout hasn’t set hard enough for it to get a second application either, though I have decided to go for a quayside scene and added some “loose” rocks along part of the shoreline.

I then found myself looking at Warley Fen. The Gn15 layout above Resurreccion is the odd man out, everything else along that wall is On30 since I moved the On18 layouts into the office. So, what if I moved Warley Fen indoors as well? That would leave an empty shelf above Resurreccion, adjacent to the branch terminus’s fiddleyard.

One famous feature of Andean railways that is, to my mind, a must have feature is a series of switchbacks where the railway gives up trying to scale the side of a valley in one direction and zigzags back on itself to gain (or lose) height before continuing on its way.



This could share the fiddleyard cassette with the branch, enabling through running despite the height differentials, it would also be a perfect explanation for the short trains seen on the FCPyF. I’ve not got room to model a pair of switchbacks but they can be some considerable distance apart (vertically as well as horizontally) so it would be feasible to just model a single reversal. The films show reversals on a standard gauge line but the same operation can be seen elsewhere both on standard and narrow gauge railways.

Just got to love the way the brakeman changing the points on the first (freight train) film seems to have taken his dog to work with him as seen at 5 minutes 27 and seconds into the film and again at 8 mins 30! Note also the weather (and puddles) in the second (passenger train) film. If it weren’t for the cacti it could almost be Wales!

A zigzag scene would involve a lot of vertical modelling, I’d need shares in Polyfila to build it using my usual scenic methods but an American style “glue-shell” mountain made from strips of scrap cloth soaked in PVA and laid over a lightweight frame would be easier, and less likely to crush the modules below it!

Post Script, 11.00 pm

I have just been adding another layer of PVA to the river before turning in for the night. While I was at it a was looking at the area behind the mine and thinking that if the tail track of the switchback extended beyond the upper layout shelf to run above and behind the mine I could blend the scenery of the two layout shelves together, thus creating a single scene incorporating the river bridge on the main line at the lower level and the switchback on the upper level, with the mine between them.

Switchback 2

Not to be attempted yet though, just one for the back burner. I want to finish Jones River and the new terminus before starting on another On30 project.

Post Post Script, 8.45 am next day…


Having said that, if the upper and lower layout shelves are brought together by blending the scenery between the two, the switchback could be considered as part of Jones River instead of a new project.



About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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